Thursday, January 18, 2007

Why Oh Why is the World Trying to Piss Me Off

Here’s something I really don't understand. I had to call an 800 number to activate my newest credit card. Fantastic, automated messaging systems are creative and save a bundle on human resources.

But if you're gonna make me sit through a 20 minute automated session with me punching in all of my personal information, don't put me on hold 20 minutes later and make me repeat it to a small asian woman that can't understand more than three words of English.

Here let me reenact this for you ("X"s have been used in place of names and numbers in order to protect the innocent and/or retarded):

Welcome to XXXX's automated credit card activation. If you'd like to continue this call in English, please press one.

< 1 >

Thank you.

Please enter the sixteen digit number located on the front of your credit card.


Thank you.

Please enter the last four digits of your social security number.

< XXXX >

Thank you.

If you'd like to take a moment to create a four digit personal verification number so that you may access cash using your credit card at various ATM locations nationwide, please press one. If you wish to skip this option and you would like to create one at a later time, please press two.

< 2 >

Thank you.

Please hold while we transfer you to a representative.

Huh?? I wait on hold for five minutes.

Thank you for holding. All representatives are busy, and we thank you for holding while one is being contacted. Your call is very important and we will return to you as soon as possible.

I wait on hold for another five minutes and get the same message before someone picks up. It's an asian chick that talks as formulaic as the automated voice answering system, so imagine her pronouncing every word one syllable at a time, and only saying one word per every three seconds when you read this.

"Hello. Thank you for calling our credit card activation center. Your call may be monitored and recorded for security purposes. May I have your sixteen digit credit card number please?"

"Um...okay. It's XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX..."

"Thank you. May I have the last four digits of your social security number please?"

"Haha,'s XXXX."

"Thank you. May I have your name as listed on the credit application please?"

"Yeah it's Christopher XXXXXXX."

"Thank you. Can you please spell how your name is printed on the credit card?"

“C-h-r-i-s-t-o-p-h-e-r X-X-X-X-X-X-X.”

“Thank you. Can you please tell me your address?”

At this point I start to get irritated, since I already punched in my card number and social when I was battling against the machine. But I tell her my address, and then get this.

“Thank you. If you’d like, you can create a four digit personal identification number so that you may access cash using your credit card at various ATM locations nationwide, you can do so now.”

“Um, no thank you.”

“Okay. Thank for you for calling to activate your card. Before the activation is finalized, would you like to add credit security to your account? In the event that you lose your job uncontrollably, are hospitalized, or in the event of your immediate death, we can offer you protection against your account having late penalties or…”

At this point I fell asleep. She was talking like a robot, but it was like a robot that couldn’t catch its breath. She was actually accentuating the pause between every word, which is something that I didn’t know the human vocal box could do.

After eight minutes of holding the phone to my ear and daydreaming about that teacher I had my sophomore year in high school (you know, that younger one that always smiled at you and "loved" having you in her class, the one that you wish would've handled you and showed you the wild ways of the sexually mature), I heard the words "for seventeen percent of your balance every month" and snapped out of it.

“No thanks I’m not interested.”

“But sir, in the even that you lose your job uncontrollably, are hospitalized, or in the even of your immediate death—“

“Noooo thaaaanks not interested. Thank you.”

“Thank you sir. If you'd like to create a four digit personal identification number so that you ca--"

Oh look at that I hung up. Oh well.

At that point I couldn't believe that I actually got some lines repeated to me three times using the exact same verbage, and almost exact same voice tone, from both the automated system and the human operator. It truly blew my mind and I was completely baffled.

It really put a damper on my whole day, and although I now have a bunch more of someone else's money that I accrue interest on (seems fun, doesn't it?), I'm not in the mood to spend it after having to deal with that.

And some people wonder why I get so irritated with the world sometimes...

Until next (hopefully happier) time.

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